This nonprofit group submitted a request for assistance to the United Way for their Week of Caring, in which community volunteers are paired with groups needing help with a specific project. Their storage had become disorganized over the years and they had lost track of what they owned that could be used and what needed to be disposed of or donated. Since this is exactly the kind of project I love to do, I was happy to volunteer.
I started by setting out tables for sorting. I removed everything from the shelves and floor and grouped every item into categories. Then the person in charge of the project came in to look at the items and determine which items were useful to keep and which should be removed. To determine best placement, we talked about which items were used most frequently and what categories were used at the same time. The shelves were cleaned off and the most appropriate containers chosen. Although I would have loved to have all clear bins for storage so that items could be seen, the group’s budget wouldn’t allow for purchase of containers. As an alternative, when I had to use a box, I clipped a sample of the box’s contents on the outside, as well as labeling it.
The client was thrilled with the results. Since many items were purged and grouped more strategically, they ended up with more open space on their shelves as well as some empty containers that could be repurposed. The room looks much better and is also more functional.